Question: What factors increase my risk of developing pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis?
Answer: Well, since rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of unknown cause, it's obviously difficult to avoid something you don't understand. There are certain things that seem to predispose people to developing rheumatoid arthritis. One that has come to light recently is smoking. So, certainly avoiding cigarettes for a variety of reasons are important. It looks like cardiovascular disease is also a major cause of death in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, so another reason why smoking is a good thing to avoid.
We usually suggest to people that they try and keep in as good physical shape as they can. A reasonable amount of exercise, certainly rest is an important feature with rheumatoid arthritis. If patients overdo and don't get adequate rest, they can certainly increase their pain levels.
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